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Azure Automation DSC: Getting Started

Author by Nathan Lasnoski

For those watching the Azure Automation portal, you may have noticed a new preview capability has been launched within the Azure Automation UI.  The current capabilities available through PowerShell with Azure Automation DSC are becoming available in the Azure Automation UI under the "nodes" area.  The first capability to go live is the visibility of the current managed nodes and the extent to which they align with the declarative state. Azure Automation DSC This will be a very important new capability being offered through Azure.  Here is how you should start preparing:  
  1. What is Declarative Configuration Management (Configuration Management v3).  Learn about the concept of Declarative Configuration and why you would use technologies like PowerShell DSC and tooling like Chef / Azure Automation DSC.  Also, learn about how to get started with selection of managed items.
  1. Getting started with PowerShell DSC.  Learn from the master, Jeffrey Snover, on Getting Started with PowerShell DSC on MVA.  Also, check out Advanced PowerShell DSC on MVA.  This should be considered a base knowledge for any cloud infrastructure administrator.  Think of PowerShell DSC as the "printer driver" and tooling such as Azure Automation DSC as the management platform.
  1. Enable Azure Automation DSC Preview.   Enable Azure Automation DSC as your configuration distribution platform for PowerShell DSC.  Rob Plank does a great job on providing a step-by-step.
  1. Register Servers to Azure Automation DSC.  Register servers to Azure Automation DSC, enabling them to retrieve and deploy PowerShell DSC configurations you've written for their role. This enables you to manage those servers in the UI and see their compliance.
  1. Leverage the new Azure Automation DSC Portal.  The new Azure Automation DSC configuration visibility in the Azure Portal will let you see the status of the applied configuration to each target server.  Here is a close-up:
DSC Configuration   For the purposes of getting more in depth in DevOps concepts of Declarative Configuration Management and Infrastructure as Code, check out the new MVA series Modern IT: DevOps to ITIL: Complete Lifecycle of Service Management, with myself and David Tesar.   Nathan Lasnoski

Nathan Lasnoski

Chief Technology Officer